Friday, April 29, 2005

Not much to write about these days...

There were a lot of Car bombs this morning or what we call VBIED's. VBIED's (V-bids) Stands for Vehicle born improvised explosive device. I guess they killed some Iraqi soldiers. It is rough fighting a war against bombs. Luckily my job isn't fighting the bombs...
enough of the bad news... Back to my vacation... That title has become pretty fitting to this blog since I can't really talk about the actual work I do here. Today was pretty hot... I don't know how hot but I am willing to bet it was in the 100's. I managed to stay out of the sun today so it was pretty easy to keep cool. The A/C works great in my room and the A/C in my truck is alright but the engine heat gives it some pretty good competition...
After supper chow a few of us went over to the Aussie side of the base where they have a sand volleyball court set up... It is right under a palm tree and if you try real hard you can pretend you are on vacation back there if you shut out the occasional pop of gun fire across the road at the firing range. We went over there yesterday too and played. There is going to be a tournament on our FOB in a few weeks so we are trying to find some guys for our team. It should be pretty fun.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Gate gaurd, Sandstorm, Rain, Explosions

Well today has been a long day. I got up at 0200 to go do Entry Control Point (ECP) Duty. That is the army's fancy way of saying Gate Gaurd. It was alright but I would have rather been sleeping at that time. Plus there was a pretty good wind kicking up a sandstorm so I got pretty dirty out there. I guess today was Anzac Day for the Aussies about 0500 vehicle after vehicle pulled into the gate to celebrate with the Aussies we have on base. I am not sure what Anzac day is but I think it may be like thier independance day or something? Anyhow all those vehicles coming in made the time pass by quickly.

I took a moment just now to look up what Anzac Day so here is what it is:

ANZAC Day - 25 April - is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

This is actually pretty interesting if you want to read more here is where I got this info http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/anzac_tradition.htm We need holidays like this.

Enough about that...

While on gate gaurd I was thinking to myself 'Man it would be nice if it rained so this sand would stop kicking up in the wind so much' then a few hours later it started sprinkling. Now it is raining pretty good but not heavy like back home. I just thought that was ironic that it actually did rain. I thought I had seen the last of the rain a long time ago.

Earlier today we were sitting in the motorpool because we were going to have to support another platoon if they were to go out to the red zone. While we were out there we all heard about 8 loud explosions off in the distance all within 30 seconds of eachother. I don't know if that had anything to do with the platoon not going into the red zone or not but, they didn't end up going which was good because I was really not looking forward to it since I had been up since 2 and it was raining.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Wow is it hot today!!!

I thought yesterday was hot. I was talking to my brother last night on MSN messanger and he was telling me it was below 50 degrees back home and raining. I told him it was 102 here during the day. He replied "I would have killed for half that." (So would I...) Today is even hotter than yesterday at 107. I found a website with forcasts for Baghdad and it looks like it is going to cool off in the next few days and by Wed. it should be in the mid 70's.
107 is actually unseasonably hot for this area. I guess I shouldn't complain though because it will be even hotter this summer. Still it is a cooker. Just walking to lunch chow in my PT's was bad enough.
We have had the internet up and going for a few days now, although it is not fully working to capacity. The guy that sold it to us is supposed to come here and realign the dish which will hopefully help the speed. Right now my messanger programs work pretty good and I am able to surf the web slowly. It will be nice when it it is full speed though.
Ever since we got it set up I have been helping people with thier computers. I really should get paid for this because I don't get any free time to use my computer because I am always fixing someone elses. One guy did actually offer to pay and some of the guys realize that I am pretty busy helping them. But I am not going to make anyone pay because I would want someone to help me if I couldn't get my computer to work and I couldn't talk to my friends and family back home. I offered to install the army version of Norton Antivirus on everyones computer because it is free to soldiers when we first started this. No one wanted it for one reason or another. Now it seems that everyone that didn't have it has viruses on thier computers and they want me to fix them. I wish they would understand that a little PMCS (preventive maintenace checks and services) would go a long way on thier computers. It is a lot harder to get rid of a virus after infection than to just block it in the first place. I have my computer update its protection daily so hopefully I won't have any problems.
We got to go to a small arms range yesterday and test our weapons. I was glad to know that my weapon still fires :). I wish we were eble to test fire them everytime we left the FOB but I guess because we are in town that is not allowed. I don't know why we don't have a range on our FOB there is plenty of room for it.
Well it doesn't look like they are going to put a new bathroom in our building. I don't know if I mentioned that they were planning to or not. I guess it doesn't matter since it doesn't look like it is going to happen. We did get a new shower trailer though. It is a big one with 12 showers and 12 sinks and this one even has a bench to set your stuff on (bunus!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

8 am and all is well.

Just thought I would send a quick note at the request of my brother.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Got a huge package today!

It had everything but the kitchen sink in it :). Thanks to everyone at CVS for that. It looks like there are a lot of people I am going to have to meet when I get back.
We are supposed to have the internet tomorrow, that will be awesome. I hope it works good. I just hooked up the last couple connections to it today. I am really excited about it. I hope I can convince some guys to want to play some computer games on the network as long as we are all connected. That should cut out some of my boredom.
Anyways, it's still getting hotter.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

nothing to report

I thought about renaming my blog to:
"Bringing Iraq a NEW WORLD ODOR".
Actually a Vacation in Iraq might be a cool thing someday when all this "insurgents wanting to kill americans stuff" ends.

Okay I thought I would add this line because some of you read too fast and might not have caught the pun there. New world Odor is what I meant to say, I didn't misspell order... It is a joke about this country's smell. It stinks here :p

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Scratching my butt in Iraq!

Okay, so I'm not, it would be to hard to type. Today has sucked... The power has been out most of the day. I mean I shouldn't really complain about it being off during the day but my fridge is going to get warm and I will probably stub my toe, when I get back to my room, on something knowing my luck and how "clean" I keep my room :p.
It is a beautiful night in Baghdad tonight. Warm with a cool breeze and peaceful, you wouldn't even believe that there were 3 explosions that shook the buildings here earlier today. I apparently slept through the first 2 but the third one happened when I was at the Freenet and it sounded like someone walked up and pounded on the glass door and ran off.
Some of the guys we have been working with since we got here got to go home this week for good. I didn'd get to know them too well but they seemed like really cool guys. I hope their replacements are as good as they were.
Found out that the switch we are going to use has 3 bad ports on it after I did some debugging of the network. Now we have 2 less ports than we actually need. Not a big deal really, we can just add another small switch and we already have one of those... it will just look a little more ghetto. Plus no one will want to be plugged into the little switch because they will think their speed will be slower because it is a smaller piece. As stupid as that sounds it is totally true. Some of these guys have no clue what a megabit is but they see someone like me working on the network and all the sudden they think they are experts or something. They just need to trust the guys that have actually done this sort of thing before and "chill baby, chill..."
Oh the mosquitoes have not been as bad these days. No wait I spoke too soon I just got bit on the knee. :(

Sunday, April 10, 2005

So what can I tell you???

Sometimes it's hard to decide what I should write about... The things that I think would be boring are the things that a lot of people want to hear about. The things that I think are really cool ussually have to do with our mission and I can't talk about them. I wish that I had the dicipline to write a journal so that I could look back and reflect on those things when I got home, or even a few years from now.
So here is the boring stuff :p
My platoon has been working really hard to make our building really nice. Things are shaping up quite nicely. My room is starting to look like I actually live in there, and no that doesn't mean it is trashed :p. We are getting the internet set up in a week or 2 from an independant guy that is selling us a satalite system from out in the red zone. It should be a pretty good system for us. It will only be 256k up and down shared between almost 30 of us. It has to be better than the rest of the options here. Plus it will be in our rooms!!! Me and Sgt Jones are probably going to be in charge of keeping it working for everyone. We started running cable for it yesterday or the day before. We got it all set up and now just have to wait for the system to get here. We are using one of my wireless routers to supply the IP addresses. Since they are only giving us 13 of them, my router can take one of them and split them into as many as we need... or at least 255 of them lol. SFC Vanderheyden is supplying a really nice 24 port cysco switch that the router will plug into. We managed to scrounge up about 800' of cable for it too. I just hope it all works when we get it set up.
A few of the guys cleaned out the bathroom in our building a week or two ago and we were using it as a storage room since the plumbing is all screwed up here. So anyways they spent all this time setting it up and we were even going to put the internet server in there and now they say that we have to take it out because they are actually going to fix up the building now and put in indoor plubing... I guess that is a good thing it will be nice to not have to walk out to a trailer to go to the bathroom or shower.
Well I was hoping mom or dad would get online before I go to bed but they are not yet and I have to get to bed because we are playing dodgeball in the morning if we don't have a mission. Oh and I almost forgot I have to write my best bud Brandon an email because I have not talk to him forever. So anyways thanks for reading and let me know if there is anything you want me to write about because my topics are limited.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Surprise... A blog!

I know I know I have not wrote in quite a while. Well I have been busy and in conjunction with that I have been lazy... Those two things don't mix well. :p
I am almost all settled into my new room with Ian my gunner. We had to do a lot of work to the room when we got it the people that moved out of it had trashed it. The windows were boarded up and were missing glass so we managed to fix it pretty good with limited resources.
We managed to get some nice granite tiles to cover the floor with so it looks pretty good too. I got some light strands from my brother Heath in the mail today (thanks bro) I have not figured out where to put them yet but I have not finished with the room yet so that is okay.
We are having a Platoon meeting on whether or not to get internet for our building now... I am going to guess we wont so hopefully I am wrong because I want it. It is going to be like 300 per person for installation and then 20-40 bucks a month after that.
I saw someone get their pants blown off the other day too but that was on a mission and is a story that should probably be told in person. It has been relatively calm the last couple months which is suprising considering that the new government is taking shape and all. Also if anyone from my family wants to save clippings for me of stuff they read in magazines or the newspaper about Iraq and the government over here that would be great. Anything from January on. Well anyways I better get going I have some people I want to chat with online. Sorry about the time between posts. I will try not to let that happen to often ;)